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Understanding Values Work

Institutional Perspectives in Organizations and Leadership

Editors: Askeland, H., Espedal, G., Jelstad Løvaas, B., Sirris, S. (Eds.)

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  • Reflects the growing interest in values as an up and coming concept in organization and leadership studies
  • Offers a conceptual alternative to more rational governance and management approaches
  • Contributes to learning with the provision of case studies
  • Examines the trajectory of values within sociology in order to analyze its application as a key concept in institutional theory
  • Open Access
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-37748-9
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover ¥4,004
price for Japan (gross)
Softcover ¥2,860
price for Japan (gross)
About this book

At the core of institutional theories, ‘values’ is a central term and figures in most definitions; however it remains understudied and under-explored. The editors of this open access book identify a resurgence of interest in the values-construct which underpins discussions of identity, ‘ethos’ and the purpose/nature of public and civic welfare provision. Considering the importance of values and values work to social, material and symbolic work in organizations, individual chapters explore values work as performed in organizations and by leaders.
Focusing on practices of values work, the book applies and combines different theoretical lenses exemplified by the integration of institutional perspectives with micro-level perspectives and approaches.

About the authors

Harald Askeland is Professor of Organization and Management at VID Specialized University, Norway. His research interests span issues such as reform implementation, change management, leadership roles, and managerial work. He has edited books on leadership and values-based leadership and published articles in both national and international journals. 
Gry Espedal is Associate Professor at VID Specialized University, and holds a Master of Management. She researches values work in institutions and processes of institutionalization in organizations pressured by changing macro-contexts. She has published articles and books within values-based leadership, authentic leadership, values work, coaching and solution-focused approach. 
Beate Jelstad Løvaas is Associate Professor at VID Specialized University. She has published in national and international journals. Her current research interests include relational leadership, meaningful work and motivation, and the role of values in nonprofit organizations, and in the public and private sector. 
Stephen Sirris is Associate Professor and Head of the Master’s programme in Values-based leadership and Centre of Values-based Leadership and innovation at VID Specialized University, Oslo. He has published on leadership and organization in the third sector with an emphasis on religious organizations, volunteers, professionals and the role of values.

Table of contents (14 chapters)

Table of contents (14 chapters)
  • Understanding Values Work in Organisations and Leadership

    Pages 1-12

    Askeland, Harald (et al.)

  • Values—Reviewing the Construct and Drawing Implications for Values Work in Organisation and Leadership

    Pages 15-34

    Askeland, Harald

  • What Is Values Work? A Review of Values Work in Organisations

    Pages 35-55

    Espedal, Gry

  • Institutional Complexity Challenging Values and Identities in Scandinavian Welfare Organisations

    Pages 57-77

    Sirris, Stephen

  • Institutional Leadership—The Historical Case Study of a Religious Organisation

    Pages 81-95

    Silva, Jose Bento

Buy this book

  • ISBN 978-3-030-37748-9
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover ¥4,004
price for Japan (gross)
Softcover ¥2,860
price for Japan (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Understanding Values Work
Book Subtitle
Institutional Perspectives in Organizations and Leadership
  • Harald Askeland
  • Gry Espedal
  • Beate Jelstad Løvaas
  • Stephen Sirris
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Softcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XVII, 296
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 5 illustrations in colour